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Respighi: Vetrate di chiesa, Il tramonto & Trittico botticelliano / Neschling, Liege Royal Philharmonic

Release Date: 01/05/2018 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2250  
Composer:  Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  Anna Caterina Antonacci
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Ličge
Number of Discs: 1 
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SuperAudio CD:  $19.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available from John Neschling and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège ijn their Respighi series on BIS: Sinfonia Drammatica & Belfagor Overture; Metamorphoseon; Impressioni brasiliane & La boutique fantasque.

In their acclaimed series of Ottorino Respighi’s orchestral music, John Neschling and Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège have transported listeners to destinations as diverse as Brazil and King Solomon’s Jerusalem as well as giving a thrilling account of the composer’s monumental Sinfonia drammatica – a score of epic proportions for a
Read more correspondingly large-scale orchestra. That performance earned a Critic’s Choice in American Record Guide and an ‘Empfehlung’ on German website Klassik-Heute.de, and throughout the series Neschling and his team have received high praise for incisive interpretations and luxurious playing. The present release brings together three of Respighi’s more popular works, besides the perennial Roman trilogy. Scored for small orchestra, his Botticellian Triptych has all the freshness of the famous paintings of the Renaissance master: Spring, Adoration of the Magi and Birth of Venus. Subtitled ‘poemetto lirico’ Il tramonto was originally composed for voice and string quartet, but is often performed with a larger complement of strings, as here. Soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci breathes impassioned life into Shelley’s Romantic poem The Sunset in which love is brutally cut short by death. The disc closes with the four Church Windows, three of which originated as piano preludes based on Gregorian themes. In 1925 Respighi composed a fourth companion piece, and recast the set as a suite for orchestra. Only then did he give titles to the movements, so that his lavishly orchestrated windows are in fact imaginary scenes, rather than any existing church windows. Read less

Works on This Recording

Trittico botticelliano by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Ličge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Rome, Italy 
Il tramonto by Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  Anna Caterina Antonacci (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Ličge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Italy 
Church Windows by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  John Neschling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Ličge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The colour wheel turned up to 11 January 8, 2018 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "As with earlier discs in this Respighi series from BIS, John Neschling has the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liege firing on all cylinders, which is such a plus for a composer who provides so many opportunities for the orchestra to show off. So it's quite a surprise to see that two of these three pieces didn't begin as rich and gaudy orchestral showpieces. Vetrate Di Chiesa (Church Windows) started out as Tre preludi sopra melodie gregoriane, three charming pieces written in 1919-21 for solo piano. In 1925 Respighi opened up and colourized these melodies, and added a fourth work as a bonus. Listen to that opulent final piece, San Gregorio Magno; this is wide-screen, Technicolor music, and it's not afraid of nudging up against effects some might find vulgar. It's great fun, so you might not notice at first how Neschling has his fine musicians playing with such determination and precision. Il Tramanto (The Sunset) is a cantata based on a Shelley poem that Respighi wrote in 1914, for mezzo-soprano and string quartet. It's played here with a full complement of strings, and sung by the splendid soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci. Even without winds, brass, percussion and organ, everything I've said about colour in Church Windows is relevant here. This is partly due to superb playing and singing, and partly because of the the 35-year-old composer's skillful blend of the styles of his compatriot Puccini and a couple of composers from the other side of the Alps: Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. I'd never heard this music before, and my view of Respighi has gone up considerably now that I know it well. The Trittico Botticelliano is my favourite Respighi work, and it receives a lavish recording here. Neschling translates Respighi's fine sense of both melody and orchestral colour, analogues of Botticelli's legendary line and colour, into a perfectly balanced performance. It's great to see this Brazilian conductor, who completely nailed the Villa-Lobos Choros series in his 2008 recordings with OSESP, also from BIS, doing the same on the other side of the Atlantic. This is the second disc I've reviewed in 2018, and I'm pleased to be able to praise the cover design once again. I hope we can keep that streak going! It's based on a detail from the 1914 International Art Glass Catalogue by the National Ornamental Glass Manufacturers Association of the United States and Canada. You can download the entire catalogue in PDF format at the Internet Archive; it's gorgeous!" Report Abuse
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